We are thrilled to feature Dalene Bickel as this week's guest blogger. Dalene is an esteemed author, book coach and speaker who has made it her mission to help other writers bring their stories to life. Read about the lessons learned when one ordinary trip to the gas station, turned extraordinary.
Perspective Is Everything
Unexpected Lessons from the Gas Station
Last week, my 9-year-old son and I were stranded at our local Costco when my key broke off in the ignition. No joke.
Of course, this didn't happen in a regular parking spot. No, it happened at the gas pumps.
There I sat, staring at the broken end of the key still attached to the key chain, noticeably shorter than all of the others around it.
As the initial shock abated, I began calling every locksmith I could locate on my phone. One by one, everyone refused to help, citing that they were too busy or that the particular person who worked on cars was on vacation (I actually heard that line from two different companies).
However, the last one I spoke with recommended Joel. And Joel, it turned out, was our ticket home. After three- and-a-half hours of blocking a gas pump, we were back on the road.
I could end the story there, and feel satisfied that I vented any residual frustration.
But I won't, because God orchestrated so many wonderful acts of kindness that they can’t be ignored, and my 9-year-old literally said, "Wow, Mom! That was actually kind of fun, seeing how so many people helped us."
Be Willing to See the Silver Linings
First and foremost was Dave, the pump attendant. I felt horrible that I was blocking the pump, which undoubtedly had a negative impact on Costco's bottom line based on the incredible amount of traffic that flowed through while we were there.
However, he assured me that it was not a concern at all and offered encouragement and ideas throughout the ordeal. He was also kind enough to repeatedly praise my son for his amazing patience.
Then, when Dave went on break, his replacement, William, brought us bottles of water to drink, since it was a scorcher of an afternoon.
One good Samaritan attempted to extricate the broken key for me and another called his personal contacts in an attempt to find a locksmith.
A thirty-something woman who had pumped gas beside me approached and said that her mother, who had been watching from her passenger seat, wanted to contribute to the repair bill. She quickly placed a $10 bill in my hand and walked away.
There was a friend who made sure that my other son was picked up after school since he would have been locked out of the house, and numerous other friends wracked their brains trying to think of a company that could help me.
And of course, there was Joel, the locksmith who fixed our problem and allowed my son to be an eager assistant.
You Have a Choice
Yes, I could bemoan the fact that I wasn't able to get the work done I had planned to do this afternoon.
I could lament about the unexpected repair bill.
I could complain about the duration and heat of the afternoon.
But instead, I choose to focus on the bigger picture.
One that allowed my son to see God's provision in action in his own life.
One that allowed us to spend 1-on-1 time together.
One that showed me that there are still many good, caring people out there in the world, ready to offer a helping hand.
And I feel led to share this story to encourage you.
Whatever challenge you're facing right now, whether big or small, your perspective can make all the difference.